A dermatologist’s guide to dermaplaning

What started as an in-office procedure, is now an at-home self care and TikTok favorite. Here’s our ultimate guide to dermaplaning, according to our founder and board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Loretta Ciraldo.

What is Dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning was originally introduced as an in-office procedure in the late 1980s. This typically involved the use of a scalpel blade which was applied with light but steady pressure to facial skin to remove layers of dead skin cells. Today, dermaplaning tools used at home are now more razor-like than the original surgical scalpel blades used. But the benefits remain the same. After a dermaplaning session results vary for everyone but dermaplaning helps you achieve a smoother, brighter appearance by removing peach fuzz and dead skin cells. Skincare can also penetrate more deeply, allowing your skin to truly see the benefits of your favorite products.

Best at-home practices

Be sure to properly clean your skin to minimize surface skin oils and any debris. Dermaplaning should be done only on dry skin. Avoid any areas that are inflamed or have broken blood vessels as these areas can start to bleed if they are dermaplaned. 

Hold your skin taut with one hand, while holding the dermaplaning tool in the other to make short, smooth strokes downward along your face. There’s no need to use a lot of pressure. And use a clean towel to wipe your tool after each section.

If you have a newer or changing skin lesion, it’s important to see a dermatologist before dermaplaning over it to be sure the lesion doesn't represent cancer.  For example, dermaplaning is recommended to help lessen dark spots on the face, but if you have a new dark spot that looks different than your other spots, please see a dermatologist before you do any procedure on this area.

Does dermaplaning hurt?

Dermaplaning is not meant to be painful. If you have an in-office procedure and experience pain, you need to tell the aesthetician immediately so she will apply less pressure to the skin. If you are doing this at-home, lessen the tautness or pressure you are applying on the skin. Another thing to keep in mind is that dermaplaning can remove peach fuzz but it should never create stubble!

Caring for your skin post-dermaplaning

Dermaplaning lessens the skin barrier. This means that your products will penetrate more effectively. But it also means that skin can become drier since there is less barrier to prevent water loss. Applying a replenishing serum, antioxidant moisturizer, as well as a hydrating sunscreen, will help repair your skin’s barrier. Be sure to avoid applying any product that may irritate skin such as AHAs or retinoids since these will deeply penetrate the skin and may become very irritating on post-dermaplaned skin.

Shop best products for post-dermaplaned skin here

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